Texas prediction: Can Longhorns even up all-time series against West Virginia?


Texas vs. West Virginia

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin

Records: Texas (2-2 overall, 0-1 Big 12); West Virginia (2-2 overall, 0-1 Big 12)

Last meeting: Texas lost 31-23 on Nov. 20, 2021, in Morgantown, W. Va.

TV: FS1

What’s at stake?

Texas holds an overall 5-6 record when playing against West Virginia. This Saturday is the chance for the Longhorns to even up the score. The last time the two teams met in Austin, the Longhorns won, 17-13.

However, Texas is only 2-4 when playing West Virginia at home. The most recent home loss to West Virginia came in 2018, thanks to a very timely catch by wide receiver Gary Jennings. Texas was stunned in a nearly impossible 42-41 loss.

But, Texas has also seen success in Morgantown. Fifth-year defensive back D’Shawn Jamison had one of his most highlight-worthy plays in Texas’ 2019 win over West Virginia in Morgantown. This Saturday’s game could potentially bring even more juice to a college football series that is marked by improbable plays.

When Texas has the ball

With no recent updates to Quinn Ewers’ status, Texas will probably have to rely on senior running back Roschon Johnson once more. Although Texas Tech was more than ready to take on Johnson in the wildcat formation, there’s a good chance that Johnson will be playing that role again.

Despite last week’s loss, quarterback Hudson Card made some pretty solid plays himself. He threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns, ending with a completion rate of 66.7%. If Card can stay consistent in all four quarters of Saturday’s game, then Texas should be just fine.

When West Virginia has the ball

JT Daniels has been West Virginia’s quarterback since he transferred from Georgia this past offseason. Daniels, a former five-star recruit, is known for his high football IQ. He’s settling in pretty well with the Mountaineers, throwing seven touchdowns so far this season. The California native is easily the best player on West Virginia’s offense, if maximized to his full potential.

CJ Donaldson has emerged as one of West Virginia’s rising stars. The freshman tight end has already recorded six touchdowns, excelling in his new role. Donaldson only played running back and wide receiver as a high schooler, and was originally committed to Tulane. West Virginia head coach Neal Brown happened to be visiting Donaldson’s Florida high school to see another player, where he was introduced to the massively under-recruited athlete. Although it’s only been a month into the season, it looks like Brown has found a true talent.

Prediction

Last week’s loss largely hinged upon self-made errors. If Texas can execute better than last week, then West Virginia should not be a problem for the Longhorns. The defense will need to create turnovers in order to maximize Texas’ time of possession. Minimizing avoidable penalties will also be key to a win. All in all, avoiding self-made errors will seal the win for Texas.

Score: Texas 38, West Virginia 21

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Find more Longhorns coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.


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